Books On Hinduism Beliefs and Practices

Hinduism Books

Find here a list of selected books on the various aspects of Hinduism, history, philosophy, scriptures and sects of Hinduism, gods and goddesses, the Vedas, Puranas and the Upanishads, vedic rituals, art and temple traditions.




Recommended Books

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Hinduism - Linda Johnsen

The Essentials of Hinduism: A Comprehensive Overview of the World's Oldest Religion - Swami Bhaskarananda

Am I A Hindu? The Hinduism Primer - Ed Viswanathan

The Book of Hindu Imagery: The Gods and Their Symbols - Eva Rudy Jansen

Hindu Wedding Rituals - Symbolism and Significance - Shubha B. Subbarao

Hindu Myths: A Sourcebook Translated from the Sanskrit (Penguin Classics) - Anonymous

Classical Hindu Mythology: A Reader in the Sanskrit Puranas - Cornelia Dimmitt

The Hindu Religious Tradition (The Religious Tradition of Man) - Thomas J. Hopkins

The Hindu Temple: An Introduction to Its Meaning and Forms - George Michell

Ancient Hindu Astrology for the Modern Western Astrologer - James T. Braha

The Hindu Tradition: Readings in Oriental Thought - Ainslie T. Embree

Hindu Gods: The Spirit of the Divine (Spiritual Journeys) - Priya Hemenway

The Power of the Dharma: An Introduction to Hinduism and Vedic Culture - Stephen Knapp

What is Hinduism? - Editors of Hinduism Today

HINDUISM: PATH OF THE ANCIENT WISDOM - Dr. Hiro G. Badlani

Hinduism: A Cultural Perspective (2nd Edition) (Prentice-Hall Series in World Religions) - David R. Kinsley

Indian Philosophy: An Introduction to Hindu and Buddhist Thought - Richard King

Hindu Gods and Goddesses - W. J. Wilkins

Religions of India: A User Friendly and Brief Introduction to Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and the Jains - Jack Sikora

Hindi Structures: Intermediate Level, with Drills, Exercises, and Key (Michigan Papers on South and Southeast Asia) - Peter Hook

Hinduism: Experiments in the Sacred - David M. Knipe

Hinduism (Oxford Paperbacks) - R. C. Zaehner

Dictionary of Hindu Lore and Legend - Anna L. Dallapiccola

Hinduism and Modernity (Religion and Spirituality in the Modern World) - David Smith

The Hindus: An Alternative History - Wendy Doniger

The True History and the Religion of India: A Concise Encyclopedia of Authentic Hinduism - Prakashanand Saraswati

Yoga and the Hindu Tradition - Jean Varenne

Hindu Rites, Rituals, Customs & Traditions - Prem P. Bhalla

Proof of Vedic Culture's Global Existence: This book provides evidence which makes it clear that most religious history is not what we think it is. It lets you see the true heritage that has been suppressed for centuries. It shows that there was once a greatly advanced and ancient culture that was a global society. That was the Vedic civilization. Even today we can see its influence in any part of the world, which makes it obvious that before the world became full of distinct and separate cultures, religions, and countries, it was once united in a common brotherhood of Vedic culture, with common standards, ideals, language, and representations of God.

An Introduction to Hinduism (Introduction to Religion): This new introduction to Hinduism is distinguished by exceptionally useful chapter divisions, good detail combined with ease of reading, and a particular focus on the integrated quality of the evolution of Hindu thought....The book's balance between scholarly detail and clear, readable elucidation of issues is commendable....In all, this is a valuable contribution to the undergraduate classroom. Libraries whose Hinduism holdings include other good introductions should, nonetheless, acquire this one." Choice

The Hindu Temple: An Introduction to Its Meaning and Forms : Michell's discussion of the meaning and forms of the temple in Hindu society encompasses the awe-inspiring rock-cut temples at Ellora and Elephanta, the soaring superstructures and extraordinary sexual exhibitionism of the sculptures at Khajuraho, and the colossal mortuary temple of Angkor Vat, as well as the tiny iconic shrines that many Hindus wear around their necks and the simple shrines found under trees or near ponds. George Michell is the author of Architecture of the Islamic World, Brick Temples of Bengal, and The Penguin Guide to the Monuments of India, Volume I. A native of Australia, he earned a Ph.D. in Indian archeology at the School of Oriental and African Studies, the University of London.

Hinduism: A Cultural Perspective (2nd Edition) : The reference provides an overview of the Hindu religious tradition and describes the essence of the Hindu vision of reality. Provides a historical and analytical discussion of Hindu mythology, art, rituals, and social structure; gives extended portraits of important Hindu thinkers and saints; offers a fuller picture of the role of women in the Hindu religious tradition; shows how the concepts of Dharama and Moksha conflict with one another and how the Hindu tradition insists upon both concepts as essential in fulfilling human destiny. A valuable reference for courses in Asian Religion, Theology, and Asian Philosophy.

Hinduism : A Very Short Introduction :  In this Very Short Introduction, Kim Knott combines a succinct and authoritative overview of a major religion with an analysis of the challenges facing it in the twentieth century. She discusses key preoccupations of Hinduism such as the centrality of the Veda as religious texts, the role of brahmins, gurus, and storytellers in the transmission of divine truths, and the importance of epics such as the Ramayana.

The Saffron Wave: A brilliant book on Indian politics. . . . The Saffron Wave is essential reading for anyone interested in India or in democracy, politics, and social movements. Based on a comprehensive incorporation of previous scholarship as well as a great deal of field-work primarily in Maharashtra state, Hansen is in absolute control of his material. Indeed, though the introduction is a bit clogged with "theoretical" ruminations, even the Lacanianism is put to good use.

Classical Hindu Mythology: A Reader in the Sanskirt Puranas: A.B. van Buitenen is Distinguished Service Professor of Sanskrit at the University of Chicago. He is currently translating the full Mahabharata, projected to run eight volumes. Cornelia Dimmitt is Assistant Professor of Theology at Georgetown University and a Core Faculty Member of the Washington, D.C. Consortium Program in History of Religions. This is a lengthy, detailed and dense translation of a wealth of Hindu myths.

Hinduism: Experiments in the Sacred : An authoritative and colorful glimpse into the Hindu world! Succinct and authoritative, this detailed introduction to Hinduism brings into grand focus the history, peoples, traditions, and geography of South Asia. David Knipe integrates his own study of the basic Hindu texts with his years of primary research and fieldwork in South Asia. Knipe creates a fivefold model for presenting the rich complexities of the Hindu world, offering an absorbing survey of the central Hindu deities, myths, doctrines, rituals, sects, and personalities. One chapter brings to vivid life the essential features of this fascinating tradition by narrating a single day in the life of a Hindu woman and the life history of a forty-year-old man.

Healing Mantras: Using Sound Affirmations for Personal Power, Creativity, and Healing : What a revelation! This book has given me incredible insight and is a joy to read and to study - like magic jumping out of the pages. As a guide for improving one's life, it is unparalleled. A thorough discussion of the background, lore, history and application of sound in healing, together with Vedic cosmology and the views of scientists, as well as pieces on Karma, Astrology and the Chakras.

Into the Heart of Truth: The Spirit of Relational Yoga : I have been teaching and practicing yoga for more than 15 years and I was floored to discover all that I didn't know about yoga. This book reaches into the soul of yoga and extracts a bright, shining truth: yoga is the path to yourself.  (Reviewer: William Arnold from San Francisco, CA .)

Kiss of the Yogini: "Tantric Sex" in Its South Asian Contexts :Sweeping away centuries of misunderstandings and misrepresentations, White returns to original texts, images and ritual practices to reconstruct the history of South Asian Tantra from the mediaeval period to the present day. "Kiss of the Yogini" focuses on what White identifies as the sole truly distinctive feature of South Asian Tantra: sexualized ritual practices, especially as expressed in the mediaeval Kaula rites.

Be Here Now : It's easy to dismiss Be Here Now as the relic of a whacked-out '60s acid tripper. Paging through the center section of the book, with its inch-high print and psychedelic drawings, you come across lines like: Magic Theatre For madmen only price of admission your mind Then you turn to the first page of the book, and you are suddenly sucked into the story of a Harvard psychiatrist who has reached the pinnacle of success, discovers the mind-expanding powers of acid, and ends up trooping through India with a 23-year-old holy man from Laguna Beach, California.

Mysteries of the Sacred Universe : Although classical texts often have outmoded unscientific cosmologies, India’s Bhagavata Purana, upon closer examination, reveals a sophisticated cosmological system containing multiple levels of meaning that encode at least four different astronomical, geographical, and spiritual world models. The author has extensively investigated ancient Indian astronomy, cosmology, and spirituality, and he has developed multimedia expositions on these topics. He is the author of six books on topics ranging from consciousness to archeology and ancient astronomy.

Midnight's Children :Anyone who has spent time in the developing world will know that one of Bombay's claims to fame is the enormous film industry that churns out hundreds of musical fantasies each year. The other, of course, is native son Salman Rushdie--less prolific, perhaps than Bollywood, but in his own way just as fantastical. Though Rushdie's novels lack the requisite six musical numbers that punctuate every Bombay talkie, they often share basic plot points with their cinematic counterparts.

Babaji and the 18 Siddha Kriya Yoga Tradition (4th edition) : The first authoritative biography of Babaji, the immortal master made famous by Yogananda's Autobiography of a Yogi, an all-time best-seller. Babaji lives today near Badrinath, in the upper Himalayan mountains. His body has not aged since the age of sixteen, when centuries ago he attained the supreme state of enlightenment and divine transformation. This followed his initiation into scientific art of Kriya Yoga by two deathless masters, the siddhas Agastyar and Boganathar, who belonged to the "18 Siddha Tradition", famous among the Tamil speaking people of southern India.

Am I A Hindu?/the Hinduism Primer : This gem of a book encapsulates the esoteric wisdom of one of humanity's oldest religions in an easy-to-understand conversational format. Covering the entire sweep of Hindu belief, answering questions Westerners ask about Hindu practice (like what exactly is the law of Karma and reincarnation? why do Hindu women wear a red dot on their forehead? and why do Hindus worship so many Gods?) answering life's most enduring questions has been hailed as a much-needed primer to this major religion.

Suggestions for Further Reading

Introduction to Hinduism
Know the richness, diversity, history and traditions of Hinduism, the oldest living religion of the world

Brahman
Know about Brahman, the Highest and Supreme God of Hinduism. Buy Now!

Selected Upanishads
Translation of 14 Upanishads. Length: 32 pages

The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad
Translation of one of the largest Upanishads Length: 206 pages.

The Chandogya Upanishad
Translation of the Chandogya Upanishad. Length:218 Pages

The Bhagavadgita Complete Translation
With Word to word translation and commentary. Comprehensive and unique.
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